Officials At Bombed MN Mosque Ask Why Trump Hasn’t Tweeted About It

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Officials at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, damaged on Saturday by an explosive device, questioned why President Donald Trump has not spoken out about the attack when he is usually quick to comment on security issues.

Mohamed Omar, the center’s executive director, invited Trump “to come and see what happened,” according to a report by BuzzFeed.

“We invite the President to come and see,” Omar said. “He is the President of this country, and this happened to us. He has to come here and at least express his feelings and say this is bad.”

Omar said if he could speak to the person behind the attack, he would tell them, “Come pray with us, and come and share and we can tell you who we are.”

“We are wondering why President Trump has not tweeted about this,” Asad Zaman, the executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, told BuzzFeed. “He seems to want to tweet about security and terror issues.”

The FBI is seeking suspects in the blast and trying to determine whether it was a hate crime. Nobody was injured in the explosion, which broke windows and damaged a room at the Minneapolis mosque as worshippers prepared for morning prayers.

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota on Saturday condemned the attack and offered a reward of $10,000 “for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the attacker.”

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) also offered a $10,000 reward and is fundraising to support the mosque.

Amir Malik, civil rights director for the chapter, condemned the bombing as an “act of violence targeting an American house of worship.”

“If a bias motive is proven, this attack would represent another in a long list of hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions nationwide in recent months,” Malik said in a statement.

CAIR-MN told TPM by email on Tuesday, “At this point we don’t have any indication of any statements or outreach” from the White House.

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota did not immediately respond to TPM’s questions on whether they have heard from the administration since. The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) on Sunday visited the center and called the bombing “an act of terrorism.”

“What a terrible, dastardly, cowardly terrible act this was that was committed yesterday,” Dayton said. “If the roles were reversed, it would be called a terrorist attack. And that’s what it is, an act of terrorism.”

A Pew survey in July showed an uptick in reports of anti-Muslim harassment.

Trump, usually quick to condemn acts of terrorism, also has a history of Islamophobic remarks. In 2015 he said he would “strongly consider” closing mosques and appeared open to the idea of creating a registry of Muslims in the United States. Trump also claimed the U.S. is “not loved by many Muslims;” called for a “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States;” called Muslims “sick people;” and said, “I think Islam hates us.”

He never publicly addressed an attack on a Quebec City mosque that killed six people and injured 19 more.

Trump’s deputy adviser Sebastian Gorka, who reportedly lost his contract with the FBI over his hard-line, often factually incorrect anti-Muslim rhetoric, on Tuesday suggested the attack could be a ruse.

“We’ve had people fake hate crimes in the last six months,” he said on MSNBC. “It could turn out to be not who you are expecting.”

Pressed as to why Trump has not yet commented, Gorka said he was “not going to give social media advice” to Trump.

“I’m sure the President will do that,” he said. “Just hold your horses. Count to 10. The President will do what he deems fit.”

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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